Editor’s note: The City Wire will profile the 11 contested primary races for Arkansas House and Senate seats in the Fort Smith and Northwest Arkansas areas. This link provides more detail on the candidates and legislative races in the two metro areas.
story by Aric Mitchell
The primary battle for the GOP nomination to Arkansas Senate District 7 pits candidate and former Rep. Jon Woods, R-Springdale, against Sen. Bill Pritchard, R-Elkins.
The primary winner will face Democratic candidate Diana Gonzales Worthen in the general election.
The City Wire recently spoke with Woods about what makes him the best candidate for the position. Woods said his conservative views are “more in line with those of the citizens of district 7.” He supports the open carry of firearms, noting that Pritchard does not. He also points out that Pritchard "has voted for tax increases" and "refused to support legislation" that targeted contractors, who hire illegal immigrants.
On the number one issue within the district, Woods noted the need for "a Christian conservative who is fiscally responsible and works for the people," and believes that the top issues facing the 89th General Assembly in 2013 will be the "phase out of the personal income tax" and "the looming Medicaid crisis."
Woods and Pritchard were approached by The City Wire to answer political surveys ahead of the primaries. Wood's full responses are listed below. Pritchard chose not to participate.
• Why are you the better candidate for the position?
First because my conservative views are more in line with those of the citizens of district 7. Secondly, I enjoy writing legislation that helps Washington County. I also believe in providing excellent service to my constituents. There are some key areas where I differ from my opponent. First he opposes open carry of firearms, I support it. Next, he has voted for tax increases I have not. The straw that broke the camel's back in my decision to oppose him in the primary is when he refused to support legislation I ran to crack down on contractors hiring illegal immigrants.
• What is the number one issue within your district?
People I have spoken to during my campaign are concerned about the direction the country is headed in and want to change course. People want a Christian conservative who is fiscally responsible and works for the people.
• What is the top issue the 2013-2014 Arkansas General Assembly will face?
The top priorities will be the phase out of the personal income tax over the next several years and to address the looming Medicaid crisis.